A SOUTH Petherton man who was caught driving while over the limit for three different drugs claimed he had been hanging around with the wrong crowd since being kicked out of home.

The police were on patrol in the Wigborough area in the early hours of the morning when they came across a car with the front bumper missing and no visible number plate.

When an officer spoke to Benjamin Thomas Buckler who was driving he could smell cannabis coming from inside and he handed over a bag of green vegetable matter and attempted to throw away a bag of white powder.

He then failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested, Somerset Magistrates were told.

Buckler, 29, of Whitehall, pleaded guilty to being in possession of a quantity of cocaine (class A) and cannabis (class B) at South Petherton on May 1 when he appeared before the court at Yeovil.

He also admitted three counts of drug driving where he was over 800mcg of Benzoylecognine per litre of blood when the limit is 50mcg; over 65mcg of cocaine per litre of blood when the limit is 10 and 5.9mcg of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood when the limit is 2.

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton said that police were on duty in Wigborough near South Petherton, at 12.30am when they saw a car coming in the opposite direction down a narrow road.

“The officer pulled over to let the car pass but it stopped and he noticed the front bumper was missing and there was no visible number plate,” she said.

“He then saw the registration plate was in the windscreen so he spoke to the defendant and there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from within so he was told he would be searched.

“Buckler handed over a bag of green vegetable matter, and as he got out he dropped a small plastic bag containing some white powder into the driver’s seat.

“He was searched and a cannabis grinder was seized and he then failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested.”

While in custody a blood sample was taken and he was found to be over the limit for the three specified drugs and the drugs seized were a total of 1.35g of cocaine and 18.5g of cannabis.

Appearing unrepresented, Buckler told the court that he had been temporarily kicked out of his mother’s address and was sofa surfing with friends.

He said: “I was hanging around with the wrong people and had only mainly been using cannabis.

“I was dropping someone off to their house and know it could have been a lot worse and I could have crashed into somebody.”

He added that things were now looking up for him and he was currently working in a factory on a three month trial.

Chair of the magistrates, Judy Watson, told Buckler that he needed to reflect on the decisions he made because it had been a really dangerous situation that night.

They banned him from driving for 18 months and fined him £276 with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.